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Entry Point 39 - Baker Lake

Baker Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Tofte Ranger Station near the city of Tofte, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 26 miles. Access is a boat landing at Baker Lake with a 10-rod portage into Peterson Lake to reach first campsite. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 3
Elevation: 1497 feet
Latitude: 47.8452
Longitude: -90.8169
Author Message Text
lmislinski
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06/23/2009 03:40PM
 
Well, I survived my first (albeit short) solo trip! Thanks to all who gave such great input at a moment's notice when I decided on Wednesday last week to do a quick weekend solo starting two days later! I'm not a big trip-report writer, so here are some photos to wet your BWCA appetites. Enjoy!

Luke

Trip Name: First Solo - Baker Lake Loop Photo Essay.

Entry Point: 39

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dadof6
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06/23/2009 03:47PM
 
Nice! Thanks for sharing....a picture is worth a thousand words. I really liked it as I'll be passing through Cherokee in 5 days. Can't wait!



"My life has been a series of campfires." Sigurd Olson
rlhedlund
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06/23/2009 04:35PM
 
I'm envious. It takes me four days of driving just to get there and back. Great photos. Thanks.

Life is Good, Living is Better. Everlasting Life is Best! Pray for Us Amok.
UncleMoose
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06/23/2009 06:48PM
 
Nice job! It looks like a beautiful part of the BW and worthy of bumping up higher on my priority list. Thanks!
kanoes
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06/23/2009 06:52PM
 
nice Im. thanks!
Blackstick
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06/23/2009 07:00PM
 
Imislinski,
The pictures of your campsite on Cherokee really caught my eye. Five weeks ago I caught my first and only Lake Trout in front of that campsite.
tg
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06/24/2009 04:41AM
 
lmis-lol those are the exact two campsites we stayed at last week. great minds thinks alike! sorry you didn't have more time for pictures-you obviously have a skill and interest therein and we would have loved to see more. hopefully i didn't nudge you into more distance than you were otherwise planning to cover?

i really liked that cherokee site and we didn't have any bug problems there. there was a bunch of old wolf scat as you walked from the fire area toward the latrine trail-our dog wouldn't leave it alone. there wasn't much in the way of firewood which made me think it was pretty heavily used. some little trash laying around which we tried to gather up but nothing ridiculous. nice site.

the kelly site (if i am correct) would have been the fourth site as you go north right? one more up the lake/river just below the portage. on its own little point/peninsula? and you had to paddle back south a bit to get to burnt. how were the skeeters? personally i have never experienced worse! get any breeze? see any otters in the water around there? had a couple decent tentpads though. never even sat down in the fire area or went up to the latrine.

tg

that's how I ro'
Ho Ho
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06/24/2009 06:00AM
 
Great report. The great pictures with just a little text told the story well. I'll have to visit that area, looks nice.
lmislinski
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06/24/2009 09:33AM
 
Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I agree that this area has some consistently beautiful landscapes. It felt like there was a new surprise around every corner.

Blastick - stop now, you're making me wish I had brought my fishing gear with me. It certainly looked like a good fishing lake.

tg - that is too funny that we ended up picking the same sites. From the sounds of it, the site I was at on Kelly was the same one you were at. I agree about the bugs at that site. They were the worst I've experienced, and there was no breeze to help. When I landed there Friday evening around 8:30, It sounded like I was in the middle of a WW I dogfight with all of the buzzing. I've never experienced such a loud audible reminder of the blood-suckers around me. Once I got the fire going, things improved a lot though. I'm sure glad I had my head net with me. I didn't see any otter unfortunately, but I did have a rather aggressive and large rabbit try to charge into my camp several times. It's funny how the smallest animals can sometimes make the most noise. I was a little unnerved given my first solo, and I was half expecting to see a bear or large Bull moose come trampling into my camp.

Having a challenging distance to cover in 2 days and one very brief evening was actually my first priority. For some reason, I agreed to do the cross-Quetico race in August with my brother the adventure racer. This trip was one of my "workout" trips to help prepare. I am a die-hard amateur shutterbug, so it was hard not to stop to take some pictures along the way, but I'd definitely like to visit this area again to give it the proper photo treatment it deserves.

I agree the Cherokee site was great. There was also a similar site two sites to the south (on the SW side of the Southern bay). I almost stopped there but went to the other site based on a review in one of the BWCA trip reports. I really enjoyed having all of the huge exposed rock areas up on the hillside that gave great vistas of the lake from all directions. Firewood was a little hard to come by, but I ended up finding a downed cedar that was pretty dry and burned nicely (way) back off the trail to the latrine. The funny part is that after I went through the trouble to drag enough wood for a 2-3 hour fire, I fell asleep leaning against one of the log benches and let the fire die after only about an hour. I hope the next occupant enjoyed the wood.
tg
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06/24/2009 10:50AM
 
Very cool lmis. I'm jealous-the cross Quetico race sounds like fun!

tg

that's how I ro'
lmislinski
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06/24/2009 11:07AM
 
tg - That's what I keep telling myself. I also expect the race to be gruelling, surprising, adventurous, daunting, but ultimately rewarding. It's 120 miles in two legs - French Lake to Prairie Portage on Day 1, and PP back to French Lake on day 2. Thankfully, they fly your camping gear to PP for the overnight so all the racers need to carry is rain gear, enough food for a day, map, headlamp, waterproof matches, and emergency blanket.

You should look into it if you're interested. The last time something like this race was held was in the '60s when they used to do the Ely to Atikokan or Atikokan to Ely races. If anything, it'd be fun to be able to look back on the experience and say you did it.
ILikePike
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06/24/2009 11:32AM
 
pictures tell more than words! i like not having to read alot :)

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit” -Edward Abbey
cowdoc
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06/24/2009 03:58PM
 
I-ski, Nice pics! We just missed you. We were camped on Cherokee and left Wed. morning and went north. Saw a nice bull moose at the north portage....I coulda used your camera!! We also loved the portage from Sitka to Cherokee. Nice roller coaster.

"What could happen?"
lmislinski
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06/25/2009 09:51AM
 
cowdoc - sorry I missed you. It sounds like you had a great trip. I was hoping to see some moose also, but struck out this time.

Roller-coaster is a much nicer way to describe the portage between Cherokee and Sitka than what I was saying to myself as I scrabbled up and down the hills. The worst part was that I forgot to put on bug spray before my first trip across and I was wearing shorts. I got part way across before I realized the bug juice was back with my other pack at the landing... The skeeters were thick, so every time I tried to stop for a second to grab my breath I was rewarded with a few more little red badges of honor ;-)
RoJoYo
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06/25/2009 03:35PM
 
I enjoyed your report...thanks for posting it.

"You don't stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing." B. Franklin
rookie in 03
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06/25/2009 07:49PM
 
Imis, can you help me out? my son and i are going in at baker on 7/3 through peterson to kelly. it's his first trip on his prostetic leg and is only a shakedown trip for a 5-day trip the end of july. how are the short portages and any campsite info would be appreciated. Very nice pictures, can't wait to get back up there, thanks

rookie in 03
lmislinski
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06/26/2009 12:23PM
 
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm glad you liked the photos!

Rookie - If I understand correctly, you're going no further than Kelly? If so, you should likely only have one short portage to contend with. I was able to easily paddle through the portage from Peterson to Kelly. The portage from Baker to Peterson is pretty short and well-worn, but the landing on the Baker side is very rocky and on the downstream side of a small rapids. You have to deal with a bunch of football to basketball sized submerged rocks as you're getting out of the canoe. You might consider a royalex or aluminum canoe if you can so that you can get closer to the landing and not have to contend with the submerged rocks.

I stayed on the campsite on Kelly that is on it's own peninsula. It was a nice site, but I wouldn't call it one of my favorites. It had a nice intimate feeling with trees surrounding the open area around the fire pit. There are also two separate landings, which can be nice depending on wind direction. The bugs are horrible right now in that area, though, so be prepared.

I hope this helps.
rookie in 03
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06/26/2009 05:58PM
 
thanks imis, think i'll take my discovery 174 on this one, heavy but tough. just the info i wanted. thanks again

rookie in 03
Mongo65
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06/26/2009 10:27PM
 
Nice report and photos. Thank you for sharing.

Sit back, relax, have a home brew.
SunCatcher
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06/27/2009 02:17PM
 
Thank You for the trip report. We are going on that same route in August from Sawbill 38 and around the horn back to Sawbill.

Great Trip
SunCatcher

"WWJD"
bear bait
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06/27/2009 03:27PM
 
great photos, particularly the last one of the portage. one of my favorite subjects in the bwca are the shorelines
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